Saturday, February 02, 2008

I'm going to finally make it over to
Intuit Gallery today to see the Henry Darger exhibit. Darger lived out his reclusive life in his one-room Lincoln Park, Chicago apartment working as a janitor by day, but at night working on his 15,000 page novel, complete with illustrations about the angelic Vivian Girls, who lead a rebellion against godless, child-enslaving men. Darger attended church daily and rarely spoke, so when his work was discovered by his landlady months before his death it started a landslide of interest in the man who some consider the most amazing of the "outsider" artists. The documentary In the Realms of the Unreal by Jessica Yu that PBS ran a few years ago is interesting to say the least. Darger was certainly the most prolific of all outsider artists. At the time of his death in 1973 he was working on the 3,000 page sequel to his voluminous first novel. His landlady eventually became executor of his estate, which comprises thousands of original illustrations meticulously drawn by Darger himself, in addition to the handwritten pages to what may be the longest and most bizarre novel ever written.